The latest Friday Nooner welcomed guest Lauren Romer, the Director of Triangle coworking OG Raleigh Founded. You won’t want to miss the gang playing Joe’s new “game” called Is It In The Triangle?
This week’s Exit Stories guest, Ryan O’Donnell, has always been a bit precocious. While he was a high school student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, he set a Guinness World Record for collecting 559,885 pounds of food in 18 hours for a food bank. At NC State, he was a co-founder of his first startup, Pennies 4 Progress. Not all that long after graduation, he became the co-founder of EmployUs, which helped companies find better employees through referrals.
In this week’s episode, Ryan tells host/Jurassic Capital Partner Kevin Mosley about the 2021 acquisition of EmployUs by Hireology. Read some show highlights here, then listen (and subscribe to!) the episode here.
When UK-based workplace management software startup Crimson Tide looked to expand to the U.S., it had two big decisions to make: where in the States to plant its flag and whether to keep the “Crimson Tide” name. I’m relieved to reveal that the answers were: 1) Raleigh; 2) Heck no. Full disclosure: this LSU fan would have never allowed a GrepBeat story to be written on a company called Crimson Tide, especially with the LSU-Alabama showdown coming up fast on Nov. 5. (First place in the SEC West is on the line!)
To avoid stepping in the middle of college sports rivalries, the Raleigh-based offshoot is going under the name of the software itself, mpro5. It’s being led by CEO Mark Self, a familiar name to GrepBeat readers as the former CEO of GrepBeat story subject Vector Textiles, a participant in the Triangle Startup Trivia Tournament and a “Where’s Pete?” winner.
We often talk in GrepBeat about how the Triangle is growing, especially in the tech and tech-adjacent spaces. That’s because it’s true; see the previous item for yet one more example. We also think that, on balance, this growth is a good thing. But there are costs, of course, and last week’s TBJ did a deep dive on one such byproduct: the influx of relatively wealthy newcomers has helped drive rising home prices in the Triangle, which can serve to make owning a home less affordable for others. One of the incoming couples that the story focuses on is none other than recentFriday Nooner guest Cara Borenstein and her husband (and Stashpad co-founder) Theo Marin.
While we’re talking growth, here’s a TBJ update on VinFast’s full-speed-ahead efforts to build its massive electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Chatham County that will employ roughly 7,500 people.
GrepBeat Godfather Joe Colopy is featured in today’s Triangle Inno for—along with his wife Karalyn—establishing a $1.5M endowment to launch a program for tech entrepreneurship at the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics. Their eldest daughter Ximena—a former GrepBeat intern who still helps us out from time to time—attended NCSSM (Class of 2020), but Joe was familiar with the school and its talented grads for years before that. For instance, scroll up to Ryan O’Donnell in Item No. 1 above; my sources tell me Joe was an angel investor in EmployUs.
Joe also launched a summer internship program in 2019 that paired NCSSM students with Triangle startups, but alas the pandemic scuttled that. This new endowment is intended to establish something more permanent. A search is on for a leader to run the program.
In Thursday’s newsletter, we mentioned the launch of Morrisville-based career planning startup Whomi, founded by John Gordon, a former senior executive at IBM, GE, Bose and Lenovo. Now TechWire and Triangle Inno have more in-depth stories on both Whomi and its founder.
Scot Wingo = Walt Disney? That’s the comparison that TBJ makes in its story on the Spiffy CEO and Triangle Tweener Titan as part of its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) series. We’re pretty sure that Walt didn’t wear shorts as often as Scot does—though now that we think about it, Mickey was/is an inveterate shorts-wearer…
While we’re talking Wingo, TBJ also has a behind-the-scenes look at the negotiations for CommerceHub’s acquisition of Morrisville-based ChannelAdvisor, which Scot co-founded and previously led as CEO through its IPO. The headline focuses on how ChannelAdvisor passed on a CommerceHub offer that was higher than the price it ultimately accepted, thereby leaving money on the table. But in fairness, the ChannelAdvisor board had also turned down CommerceHub’s opening bid, which was less than what it ended up accepting.
Sam Bayer, the founder and recently retired CEO of Durham-based software startup Corevist, has started writing a series for TechWire called “Stories at Work.” We first profiled Corevist in April, 2020, shortly after it received an investment from our Colopy Ventures sister company Jurassic Capital, and Sam (a proud graduate of Bronx Science High School) was also a Coffee & Conversation guest. We know that he is quite the raconteur, so it’s worth checking out.
Next Thursday, Nov. 3, recent Startups To Watch honoreeCliniSpan Health will hold a Community Health Summit with global biotech company CSL Behring at Raleigh’s Founded’s Gateway location from 5-8 p.m. We first wrote about CliniSpan Health—which uses influencers to help increase minority participation in clinical trials—in March. We also tabbed CEO Dezbee McDaniel as our pick for Best Presenter at CED’s Venture Connect Summit in April, which earned him a limited edition GrepBeat hoodie. (Though now anyone can score their own sweet GrepBeat gear at our ForeverGrep store.) You can register for the free event here.
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